WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) –
Democrats plan to make raising the minimum wage an issue in the 2014 campaign, U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), D-Calif., said.
Pelosi said Democrats will use the same message as they did in 2006, when they took control of the House after 12 years of Republican control, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Pelosi said she would prefer that congressional Republicans agree to raise the minimum wage before it becomes a campaign issue. She said it would be a difficult matter for them to deal with in the campaign.
President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour from the current $7.25. House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), R-Ohio, rejected the suggestion, saying it will destroy low-wage jobs because “when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.”
Pelosi said available research does not support that position. She said people at the bottom of the income scale worsen the federal deficit because they rely more than other workers on safety net government assistance — so the government effectively subsidizes their employers.
“When taxpayers are subsidizing low wages, people should be aware of that,” she said.